The Seattle Public Library Bookmobile Index
Years of continuous Bookmobile service in Seattle: 70
Total vehicles in Seattle Public Library’s Mobile Services’ fleet: 4 (1 walk-on bookmobile, 2 step vans, & 1 little van)
Age in years of oldest vehicle: 11
Number of bubble machines: 1
Total locations served each month: 116
Weight in pounds of the fully-loaded walk-on bookmobile: 9,500
Weight in pounds of a fully loaded book cart brought into assisted living facilities: 340
Items borrowed by Mobile Services patrons in 2017: 101,533
Number of items patrons unable to visit the library may receive by mail each month: 15
Number of homeless encampments the Bookmobile visits each month: 2
Happy National Bookmobile Day!
~ posted by Carrie F.
As we celebrate Bookmobiles today with National Bookmobile Day, I am moved to share something of the little known service we provide to elder members of our community through SPL’s own Mobile Services. We bring books, movies and other goodies from the library not just to kids but also to adults who cannot get to their neighborhood library or to the Central Library. We visit over a hundred nursing homes, retirement and assisted living facilities each month, and we visit private homes.
It is a delight to be able to bring the library to folks in our community who cannot get to the library because they are no longer good on their feet or able to drive. For some, it makes it just a little bit easier to stay independent in their own houses and able to continue to pursue new or lifelong interests. It can mean staying up to date with the latest film, engaging with family through books and reading or learning how to record their personal history.
What sorts of things do we bring to people where they live? Well, everything you might go to your library to pick up – from general reading to serious research. One of the best things about visiting the library is the opportunity to explore: maybe this month you’d like to try your hand at crochet or making chocolate truffles or crocheting chocolate truffle cozies. We have a book for that. Well, maybe not the truffle cozies, but you never know! There might even be a mystery series revolving around it. We’re excited to find out and we hope to recreate that process of discovery through Mobile Services.
And does that discovery ever happen! I’ve had the pleasure of being handed a self-published memoir about growing up on Vashon Island after supplying books on memoir to a patron, or been delighted to see a new painting on the wall after being asked for books on tropical birds or even more surprised to be given a newly beaded bracelet by the patron with a passion for beadwork. And even more thrilling? To be asked, ‘I just finished reading The Hunger Games series because my grandkids love them. What should I read next?’
Seattle Public Library has been providing bookmobile service since 1931. To find out more about Mobile Services for yourself or someone you know, please call 206-386-4636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, check out the outpouring of bookmobile love here: